As an avid DIYer, i wholly support the idea of creating a company, designing crafts, and trying to sell that product. Unfortunately, it seems this idea of DIY has blown up to everybody and their brother silk screening "scenester" shirts. I know i should support whatever original idea comes along, but i think these "companies" are silkscreening shirts that all look the same so they can advertise in Alternative Press and "sponsor" some bands they want to be friends with.
A lot of the companies do it because they want to get their art out there and want to help others do the same. I really appreciate the effort to put designs on other places then in the middle of a shirt and to use a graphic that is multi-colored and neat. My problem, though, lies in how it is marketed and the reason people are buying this stuff.
Take the brand EXOH Clothing for example:
"Interestingly enough, in an alternative music industry that fosters the idea of independence, creativeness, and originality, many seem to have the idea that this is only true for the musical aspect of the business...Representing one’s self as original is a somewhat, difficult task both in music and fashion but are both necessary for a musician to do in order to catch the attention of prospective listeners...The vision for XO is to create clothing that fosters the values cherished by alternative musicians and fans alike. With this unique style, XO plans on creating clothing that is so original that each piece of clothing, whether it be a t-shirt or a hoodie, would be considered a work of art...a brand of clothing that will get people talking, and noticing you for not only your style, but your originality as well."
I'm not sure if these brands are really concerned with providing originality to kids or just trying to get their stuff out there and using that as an excuse. Don't get me wrong-a lot of the shirts are cool and I'd wear them-but i wouldn't label myself as "original" because i'm walking around with a tshirt that has a skull bleeding hearts and stars all over it. I really don't think there's a big difference between this and Hot Topic, though they'd probably disagree. A kid wearing this isn't putting out a "great, cool, original style here" idea with these clothes, he's just wearing some tshirt he bought from some company.
These are just a few of the scenester screenprinting tshirt companies. Just do a search of independent clothing company on myspace and it will provide about 200 more.
Maybe i'm so sick of the scenester haircut, makeup, and general style that that's the reason i don't like these companies. I'd rather see what people like and want to wear, regardless of what the style is in their scene.
I don't mind the company Draven Shoes or Dogpile Clothes. At least these guys don't claim their plaid vests, stretch jeans, and sneakers are part of some revolution for expression.
I think buying DIY clothes from places like Ebay is great. The sellers describe their stuff as "one of a kind", and admit that they're selling it because they hate working stupid jobs and sewing is their true passion. It's handmade, and you're buying it right from the person who has the creativity and talent to create the product. No made up crap about "you'll be so much more stylish and original, this DIY thing is an underground breakthrough!" Here's the girls that I would buy from anyday over a company (if only i could top the highest bidder once!)